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tv   [untitled]    February 20, 2011 5:30pm-6:00pm PST

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one german, one french, and one italian, complain about san francisco taxis it is imperative you support this legislation. also, i want to thank hiyashi for her work. we support her. supervisor mirkarimi: thank you. next speaker, please. >> good afternoon, supervisors. i am with united taxicab workers and a taxicab association. i have a medallion and i worked as management for green cab. i want to support this legislation. i -- thank you.
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i want to support this legislation. i don't think it is in controversy. some of these things are things we have been urging for many years. on the issue of safety, on the issue of service that supervisor cohen reyes, this is an enormous, a perplexing problem. i don't want to gloss it over. perhaps one approach to this might be to do a survey of other cities and a best practices, and see if anybody has found any successful solutions to it. it is everywhere and it has been that way. maybe it is industry inertia. maybe it is bureaucratic
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incompetence. it seems to be impervious to solution. i think it is worthy of another hearing and perhaps hearings on your part, rather than using this hearing. i think a hearing on the emt's oversight of the taxi industry would be constructive -- the mta's oversight of the taxi industry would be constructive. there are lots of questions that i think the board should get involved in. thank you. supervisor mirkarimi: thank you. any other public comment? step, on up. -- step on up. >> i am not a taxicab driver. i hate to be a contrarian. let me say that i am in favor of greater enforcement of illegal
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town cars and cabs. my concern is this proposed legislation does not only do that. it purports to give the mta authority to regulate town cars and limousines that are already regulated by the california puc. it is in direct conflict with the provisions of the california public utilities code. i am an attorney. i have a client who has been in discussions with mca. supervisor mirkarimi: could use a your name, please? >> and daniel rocky -- daniel rocky. my client has developed an iphone application to interface with town cars. i have learned a lot about the
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regulatory scheme. under the california public utilities code, regulation of town cars and limousines is delegated to the puc. they are licensed by the puc. the code provides that the m.t.a. has no role in regulating those cars. the problem with this legislation as it purports to delegate to the mta authority that is invested in the puc. that is one issue. i got miss hiyashi to address that. the second issue i have is with the new section 7.3 0.6 -- 7.3.6. i understand that taxicab's don't appreciate when hotels, doormen, passengers -- take
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passengers to illegal town cars. [tone] it attempts to prohibit all referrals. i think it is written too broadly. it can potentially encompass concierge taking a tip to arrange a legal service. supervisor mirkarimi: thank you. any other public comment that has not been made before? >> walter paulson. here is your friendly safe driver again. ♪ i think i'm gonna be sad i think it's today the cab that coming my way is not real, they say she's got a ticket to ride
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she's got a ticket to ride she's got a ticket to ride and she don't care and she shouldn't be running so high shall do right by the law she sees and before she gets to saying goodbye there is one thing, she is parking for free i think she's going away i think it's today ♪ supervisor mirkarimi: thank you. any other public comment? public comment is closed. mta, please? >> thank you very much. thank you for opening up public comment for the convenience of these industry members who came to testify. to briefly address supervisor cohen's question about
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representation -- supervisor cohen: i am talking about the whole southeast. >> the response to your question about how is the industry oversight handled, the council is the industry council. the questions they consider are so technically deep into taxi industry that it would probably be difficult for a member of the public to follow. the taxi advisory council is there to consult with the mta board on matters that affect the industry. the citizens advisory council is a good place to talk about customer service. i went to the february 3 meeting of the citizens advisory council to talk about open taxi access, which i am about to share with you today. members said, i cannot get service in my neighborhood. those voices do have a place
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with the and thecac and sfmta oversight structure. to go to be presentation i wanted to bring to you that you requested last week -- get the last meeting, people. out there are two issues. the reason this legislation is before you have to do with the public policy of protecting public safety, to make sure model vehicles for hire, when customers get in, the vehicles have been inspected, they have liability insurance, and the drivers have been screened. we consider it a real public safety issue. angus -- an example happened in the interim between the first meeting in today. there was a collision between an illegal limousine and a licensed taxicabs in an intersection. the limousine careened out of control and hit a pole. seven people were injured, including two walking by on the
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sidewalk. it is not clear to me today whether that limousine have liability insurance to cover any of those injuries. as somebody pointed out, there is revenue implications here for the city. it is not a primary issue. people remind me all the time, the more you can get illegal vehicles off the street, the more you can supply taxis for working taxi drivers that will be able to supplement that demand. as you say, that is the issue related to the legislation. i wanted to bring you information on service initiatives that are under way at the sfmta. service problems are largely about distribution of taxis. neighborhoods have a hard time getting service. there are taxis downtown. drivers tend to work in the
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northeast. the question is, how can we improve distribution? i have pulled up on the chamber website here -- this is a proposal we are calling open taxi access. other people have referred to it otherwise. cabulous provides this as a private provider. the taxis you see on that real time digital map are available taxis. once they turn on the meter, they disappear from the map. once it gets out and they turned a meter back off again, they pop back up. you will see cabs disappear and then come back on. these are all in the northeast quadrant downtown.
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open taxi access is a way to try to help the service. fleets have chosen to sign up. we have -- we would like to put the revenue back into the industry. the provider will provide the infrastructure for this digital map to go into a lot of different locations. it can go into a restaurant's website. it can go into the sfmta's website. it can be posted on a personal website. what we would like to do through the open taxi access concept is expand the taxis you can see to the 1500 taxis on the streets all day long. you will be able to see the better distribution. when somebody picks them up and take them to a neighborhood, someone can see that taxi
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approaching and can hamlet. this is the open taxi access proposal that we are going to be entering into a contract for. i recognize that is not a satisfactory solution citywide because i know that not everybody has a smarthpphone or internet access. for example, somebody is coming out of treatment from a clinic, a chemo. -- chemotherapy patient. the typical model is the receptionist tries to call the taxi and the person is sitting in the lobby for two hours. with this technology, the receptionist could pull up this digital map, find a taxi nearby, and get a personal commitment from that driver that they are where the customer is waiting and they're on their way. it is an additional channel of communication allowing the customer to communicate directly
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between the person who wants the ride and the person who is available based on their geographic proximity. it allows them both to see each other as they approach. it is very cool technology. as far as improving neighborhood service, one of the ideas that might be a good idea is opening a dialogue between the taxi industry and the neighborhoods that are under-served so we can look for specific solutions, possibly in a particular neighborhood. there might be a place where it would be good to have a cab stand and neighbors recognize that. they may not necessarily be speaking to the industry. we are certainly happy to try to facilitate any conversations between the supervisors and the constituents in their districts and the taxi industry in order to attend by specific things we can do neighborhood by neighborhood. other service initiatives -- supervisor mirkarimi: we are
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needing to focus just on the legislation itself. let's get to that. my recommendation is that with some of the points supervisor cohen brought up, it leaves some homework if the mta and supervisor's office would like to collaborate further on how you might want to trail on the idea of creating some meaningful reform toward improving access and service for those areas. i think that seems like a virgin territory. from what i can hear, supervisor cohen's interest -- that is what i would encourage from this point forward. if we could get back to the legislation, i think that would be effective. >> ok. i think i probably said everything i have to say about
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the legislation. we consider it important and we are looking forward to enforcing the law and making more opportunities available to legitimate taxi drivers. supervisor mirkarimi: thank you very much for that through presentation. thank you very much. i don't believe there is any more need for it this the -- discussion or presentation. very good. i already had closed public comment. the matters before this body, supervisor cohen? i would like to make a motion that we -- supervisor cohen: i would like to make a motion that we approve it. supervisor mirkarimi: so moved. thank you to everybody for your attention. is there anything further? >> no, mr. chairman.
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supervisor mirkarimi: very good. this meeting is now adjourned.
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